Sir Jackie Stewart has voiced his concerns over the lack of influence the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association currently holds
Photo: Motorsport Images
Sir Jackie Stewart has echoed Lewis Hamilton’s calls for drivers to have more of a say in the decision process in Formula 1.
The Scot is famed for his campaigning for improved driver safety in the sport during the late 1960s and early 1970s and led the boycotting of the 1969 Belgian Grand Prix over safety concerns.
Stewart himself led the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) between 1972 and 1978 but believes the group does not carry the same weight as it ought to.
“I still don’t think that the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association have anything like as much influence as they should have because they’re the guys out there,” Stewart said in a Royal Automobile Club Talk Show podcast with Motor Sport.
His comments come after calls made by 2019 world champion Hamilton earlier this season that the drivers should have more of a say in the formulation of the new 2021 regulations.
Jackie Stewart (right) pictured alongside Piers Courage and Jacky Ixck Photo: Motorsport Images
Hamilton attended a meeting earlier this season in Paris alongside current director of the GPDA, Romain Grosjean, to represent the driver’s viewpoint over the current state of affairs in F1, and spoke at the Canadian Grand Prix indicating drivers’ desire to be a part of the rule-making process.
“Well, all the drivers are united for the first time,” Hamilton explained.
“We are all part of the GPDA so we are all united, we are all working together, we all communicate. Unfortunately, the technical regulations are done by the people with power, with money and we generally have a little say, if any, as to what changes will take place.
“So we do want to be a part of the conversation because ultimately we can help for the future.
“Also, a lot of the things that we push for are for the younger generation of drivers, things that we change in the rules for the drivers’ side of things is so that the younger drivers that come through will benefit from those things.”
Although critical of the lack of a voice drivers currently enjoy, Stewart spoke positively about the appointment of Ross Brawn as F1’s managing director of motorsports.
“I think Ross is the right man, first of all. Because he’s a racer, he’s as good as you get – what he did with Ferrari, all the success they achieved with Michael Schumacher etcetera etcetera,” Stewart explained.
“He’s very level-headed, nobody can buy him. That’s an important element. His heart’s behind it as well as his head, and he’s got a good head.”